Trip Report Alaska 2017 Coho Trip....


Steelhead Bum
So This past summer I managed to get in on a trip to Alaska to fish for Coho. It was the Prince of Wales Island. Near the town of Whale Pass. Well there were whales everywhere thats for sure! The fish we ended up going after where part hatchery coho, and part wild coho (in smaller numbers). The odd thing is that the hatchery was privately owned! I mean knowing only what is going on in the lower 48..... I thought that hatcheries where state owned. But regardless I did get quite a bit a info and now planning for next years trip to a wild rivers only place. What I noticed is that the hook up ration versus foul hooking was 30/35% to 70/65%. I mean these hatchery seems to be on one mission which was to get up river and ladder. Either way did enjoy the time there and like I said learned a bit about fishing Alaska and how the rivers are structured there. Not like here on the west coast of the lower 48.

The time frame I was up there was 10 days. We fished 6 days of salmon and two days of halibut (other two we did some traveling). Got into some nice halibut, and fun for sure! The salmon where just starting to come up being the rainy weather was just beginning. So the river levels was on the rise. The flies that seemed to work the best was a large orange cactus chenille with various colored marabou tails. Pink, red, orange, purple, and sliver or black bead eyes on #2 Gammie hook. Before the rain got there it was tough with not much running water. The fish where in the rivers just hard to swing for or at. The method I stuck to that worked was fishing a riffle at the bend of the river that dumped into a deep pool that had water running at a faster pace.

So I would cast down the typical 45* cast and let it sit on the dangle. They would come up and smack the fly and take off down river like a wild train on the loose! hahaha! I have not seen steelhead do what these fish would do when hooked. What was weird to me was that if foul hooked they would only chug along in the deep until they would pop off or snap the line. But if they came up and took the fly and got hooked it would turn into a 4th of July firework show! Had one shoot up river on me about 200' and after a few minutes of fighting it came running back down river. The point I was fishing was near a small bridge. The bridge had two steel cables running parallel to each other across the river. As the fish was coming back towards me down river it decided to jump out of the water about 2' in the air right between these cables. Then flip back over the cable going down stream then back up stream with another jump. I tried by best o get untangled with no success so ended up breaking off. One thing was these coho where pure energy regardless of being on average of 8-10 lbs with an occasional 12-15lbs fish.

All in all caught quite a few fish, and had a ton of fun! Can't wait for next years trip and in the wild rivers! Bears where everywhere including a mother with 3 cubs. They did run away when yelled at or thrown at with small river stones. On one occasion I was going in to land a fish and down stream of me in the dark tree branch covered bank was a big male black bear sitting there not moving an inch of muscle! After which I was going in to land the fish this big guy jump down from the rock ledge and directly on my line and hooked fish. It took 5 seconds and it was over! I thought he was going to take all my line if the leader would not snap. The leader did give way and he was gone up the rocky ledge like he was never there! The other guys did have a good laugh, and wished I had my GoPro running! I didn't get as many pics as I wanted or film as much as I wanted, but did get some. Most of the guys I was with were all doing their thing so most of the pics where selfies or me taking pics. At one point all three cubs came to the car in search of food. It was amazing to see now sneaky they can be regardless of how big! The mother took 2-3 fish off stringers heck she took one stringer completely! Other awesome sighting were bald eagle on a big number level and whales. We didn't make it a priority to get close to whales and take pics. But one did come up real close. I would say about 30-50 yards away. It was a sight! They would breech and upon landing the sound was like bombs going off! The last evening the group of guys just had enough and tired out. So I decided to fish into the evening because..... I just cant get enough! Ended up surrounded by 4 bears all down at the river for fish! Yea not the brightest thing to do by yourself! ;)

Well I guess next year might be a bigger adventure also more to write about maybe!!! Hope this is not to long but sure was a different experience altogether! I will be posting a report from the trip to the Rogue River that I just got back from almost a week ago. So stay tuned for that ;)

Now on to some pics! Not the best being I linked them from my instagram page. If anyone here uses IG here is the link you can follow some of my adventures on.....